Hawkers Co. is a company that has managed to post some very impressive profit margins for its stylish sunglasses. However, its success was far from guaranteed not more than a few years ago. In fact, despite the popularity of the eyewear, it was difficult for the original founders to keep up with the demand without succumbing to overspending.
It was only when they turned to an expert for help that the company was able to grow to what it would become. We’ll look at how Alejandro Betancourt was the investor Hawkers Co. needed to reimagine its marketing campaigns, control cash flow, and evolve the brand to keep up with its young demographic.
The Beginning of Hawkers Co.
Hawkers Co. started with friends in Spain who wanted to develop a website similar to Craigslist. However, the core four had difficulty managing the financing of the project, and it took far longer to get off the ground than expected.
On something of a whim, they stumbled into the fashion industry. The founders had far more success from purchasing a few pairs of sunglasses from the U.S. and reselling them. In four years, Hawkers Co. sold €60 million in product, and the friends were itching to sell more.
How Alejandro Betancourt Got Involved
Knockarounds was the name of the original brand of sunglasses, but the friends had bigger ambitions than reselling another company’s accessory. Unfortunately, expanding takes a lot of capital, and it’s not always easy to come by.
Even as sales heated up, the money was leaving as quickly as it was coming in. The founders decided to bring in a professional who would know how to keep the ship afloat.
Alejandro Betancourt had already built a reputation for helping brands find their niche and retain their profits. The founder of O’Hara Administration (formerly O’Hara Financials) invested in the company early on, but he would do more than just provide funding. He was also able to pinpoint exactly what needed to change at Hawkers Co. so it could flourish.
Marketing on a Dime: Why Social Media Worked for Hawkers Co.
By definition, sunglasses are a highly visible style statement, which is why they were a good candidate for the glossy feeds of social media. While influencer content is certainly nothing new today, in the mid-2010s, it was just burgeoning as a legitimate marketing option.
Alejandro Betancourt implemented a strategy where Hawkers Co. would reach out to fashionistas who already loved the sunglasses. With just a few basic incentives, he was able to tap into the power of shareable content — particularly on Instagram. It only took a few key people to pose wearing sunglasses in trendy places to start seeing results.
The Double-Edged Sword of Growth
Companies that have too much success too quickly can find themselves sinking under the weight of their own popularity. Alejandro Betancourt has instincts and an inherent flair for business, but more than that, he’d seen enough mistakes that he knew exactly what to avoid.
The founders wanted to get into more markets, but the cost was more than they originally bargained for. Betancourt stepped in and was able to leverage the company’s assets to expand the brand.
What’s on the Horizon for Hawkers Co.
Hawkers Co. is excited about its new line of environmentally friendly sunglasses, particularly when the company’s demographic is passionate about reversing the effects of climate change. Responsible materials and sustainable packaging are not a marketing gimmick for the company, but a sincere effort to do its part for the planet.
Alejandro Betancourt on Startups: What Entrepreneurs Can Learn
Betancourt has seen just how far you can go when entrepreneurs can master the basics. From the beginning, he pushed for transparency, efficiency, and accountability. For instance, if anything goes wrong in the supply chain, customers are updated about what’s happening and when they can expect their order.
There’s another lesson in here though: that of asking for help when you need it. If the original founders continued running the company the same way, it might not have survived much longer. Instead, they evaluated their options and chose someone who had proven themselves in their field.